Friday, February 8, 2013

A Very Homemade Valentine

Is it me, or has half the fun of Valentine's Day gone right out the window?

Okay, maybe I don't "get it" because I'm not 9-years old. I am sure my kids think the candy is all Valentine's Day is about. I just feel nostalgic for the days when it was all about the colored paper, witty sayings and loads of glitter.

This week I headed into our local Walmart to browse through the Valentine's section. I found aisles of stuffed toys and candy... which I expected, but what I didn't find were art supplies, kits for creating special cards or even paper and glitter. Instead it was all about the boxed character cards, simple suckers or pencils and creativity was severely lacking from the shelves. I felt out of league shopping for young children since most of the cards were adorned with movie characters or TV personalities my children haven't heard of.

Sadly, this non-scrapbooker wasn't even able to locate the section with paper and paper punches. Instead I headed back to the office section and found card stock. I did pick up some doilies and Valentine's confetti. Yes, I should have started my search at the craft store, but I thought everyone would have homemade options.

I supplied the kids with colored pencils, crayons, glitter glue, construction paper and scissors. Part of me wondered what friends would think of our homemade creations, but I just turned them loose. I taught my son a simple origami heart  and gave him a list with his friends' names spelled out. He was so proud of his individualized creations.

I helped my 3-year old with the writing and some cutting, but she was excited to get her glue on!

To me, Valentine's Day should be from the heart. I don't want it to be a pre-packaged, cookie-cutter-purchased saying. Kids have so much creativity and a desire to express it. So, I let them do their thing. The best part is, their friends seemed to appreciate the personal gesture.

I remember as a child, leading up to Valentine's Day in class we were given paper, crayons, scissors and glue. We created our own mailboxes and even made most of our gifts to give to classmates. I also remember the homemade cards and fun outnumbered the printed cards with candy attached. It was simple, sometimes cheesy, but fun anyway.

Next year I plan to do things differently. In fact, as soon as the holiday is over I plan to go and buy up supplies at a discount for next year. I think a small plastic tub with Valentine's craft supplies would be the perfect way to get us motivated next time. Also I plan to spend a little time collecting great homemade craft ideas for my oldest to choose from.

Overall, Valentine's Day has already been a success in my house. We took the focus off of what we could buy and I redirected it to what we could create and give to others. I consider that a parenting win.

So, I want to know, do you keep a stash of Valentine's Day supplies? What is in your "kit"? Does your family go homemade or store-bought?
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